Volunteering is defined as unpaid, non-material or profitable work that is given freely to others. It’s the freedom of choice that is surprisingly mutually beneficial and here’s why:
Benefits of Volunteering:
- Allows you to build empathy and solidarity with others
- Boosts self-esteem in young people
- Gives a sense of purpose
- Helps those being aided
- Can build skills for those who are unemployed or seeking employment
- For the older generation, it’s a way of staying active and feeling useful
When specifically talking about blind volunteering there are a few significant facts to get out of the way. First of all, the blind have the same needs as people with a healthy vision, the development of a blind child runs according to the same laws of child development as in children of normal vision as well as adults. The reals issue is the prejudices that are widespread about them. Helen Keller used to say: "Not blindness, but the attitude of others about the blind is a burden that is difficult to bear."
With this in mind, volunteers should be prepared to aid and assist a blind person in their independence and here are some of the ways you can help:
Blind and visually impaired people certainly have the need for independent movement and desire for as little dependence on other people as possible. Dogs provide great help to these people, and they are specially trained to guide the blind, for their easier movement and guidance. The blind dog's task is to improve the quality of life for blind people, to enable them to move more quickly. In most countries, blind dogs have the right to move freely in all public places. You can help train or house blind dogs while they are not placed with a blind person or alternatively help with their upkeep for their owners.
Sound or e-readers require large inputting of different types of information so that when they come across data on the internet or in books they are more accurate when speaking. By typing up books for transcribing it can be stored in an online library so blind people or visually impaired can download to their reader.
You could offer your services as a recorder who notes books in speech format, bringing the books to life and turning a story into an audiobook for the visually impaired.
If you are more of the sporty type, fundraising for the blind can not only deal with money towards services and assistance but also raise awareness of certain conditions as well as the etiquette surrounding blind people and the discrimination they face.
There are plenty of other ways to volunteer that involve hands-on helper positions so there is something out there for everyone who is looking to make a difference.